By Dipo Olowookere
A journalist with NewsDay in Zimbabwe, Mr Kenneth Nyangani, has been arrested by police over his report on the First Lady, Mrs Grace Mugabe.
Mr Nyangani had reported that Mrs Mugabe donated used underwear to supporters of the country’s ruling ZANU-PF party.
Angered by this, the police arrested and charged the journalist with criminal defamation, which has been declared unconstitutional by the country’s court.
In reaction, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Zimbabwean authorities to immediately release Mr Kenneth Nyangani and drop all charges against him.
His lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba, told CPJ that his client was arrested yesterday and charged with criminal nuisance.
“Zimbabwean authorities should stop harassing Kenneth Nyangani and release him immediately without charge,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal. “The fact that police had to fish for a new charge because their first accusation was unconstitutional shows that this arrest is aimed squarely at intimidating Zimbabwean journalists into self-censorship.”
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